As you go, proclaim the good news, ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’ Cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons. You received without payment; give without payment. Take no gold, or silver, or copper in your belts, no bag for your journey, or tunics, or sandals, or a staff; for laborers deserve their food.
Whatever town or village you enter, find out who in it is worthy, and stay there until you leave. As you enter the house, greet it. If the house is worthy, let your peace come upon it; but if it is not worthy, let your peace return to you. If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, shake off the dust from your feet as you leave that house or town. Truly I tell you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment than for that town.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved. http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations
Following Jesus can often seem daunting, if not impossible. Who am I to spread the Good News? What do I possibly have to offer the sick, lonely, afraid, marginalized, or outcasts in society?
Today’s Gospel reading reminds us we don’t need much. As Jesus sends his disciples to minister and heal, he advises them to take no extra money, luggage, clothing, or accessories. The message is clear: what empowers us as we go through life is not the security of what we have but the peace of knowing God has us.
Given the significance of Jesus’ mission, it is easy to overlook the glaring imperfections and often embarrassing ordinariness of his missionaries. But time and time again, we see him extend a hand to sinners and people who feel unworthy. If these people are good enough to do God’s work, why not us?
Which of my flaws have left me afraid to give all I have in responding to God? How might God be calling me to use both my strengths and weaknesses to serve others?
—Brian Harper works in Chicago as a communications specialist for the Chicago-Detroit and Wisconsin Jesuit provinces.
Lord Jesus, from the start
You invite ordinary people to come to where you live.
When they come, you welcome them
and call them to labor and rejoice with you.
You are the most beautiful among all men,
and I hardly believe you want me for your friend.
You are powerful, Lord.
Draw me more and more into your friendship
and lead me along the way you took with friends.
—Joseph Tetlow, SJ